Prosecuting an alleged killer is going to be costly, according to the Wharton County District Attorney’s Office, which is seeking more funding this year.
DA Dawn Allison says more court reporters are needed to handle the capital murder trial of Robert Satterfield set for May in District Judge Randy Clapp’s 329th District Court. Exact dollar amounts were not available as of press time, but will be discussed during the Wharton County Commissioners Court session Tuesday.
Satterfield stands accused of killing the Angleton family of Ray Shawn Hudson Sr., 28, Maya Victoria Rivera, 24, and their five-year-old son Ray Shawn Hudson Jr. whose partially burned bodies were found on June 16, 2018 in a field off Floyd Road outside of Burr, a small community in East Wharton County.
He sits in the Wharton County Jail currently, transferred there from his original Fort Bend County cell April 23, 2019, when he appeared in court to reject a life in prison plea offer.
The case will be prosecuted by the local DA and her office.
“Our office has the experience and expertise to handle all criminal cases presented to this office. I’ve personally tried numerous murder trials during my career, and I understand the many issues that come out during these trials,” Allison said during a previous interview.
The DA’s office also requests the county re-apply for a Victims of Crime Act grant.
The Wharton County Commissioners Court meeting has been moved from its typical Monday date to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27 in the county annex, 309 E. Milam in Wharton. Meetings are open to the public with time designated for citizen comments.
Other items before commissioners include:
• An architect to assess storage needs in the soon-to-be constructed Emergency Services building on the Wharton County Jail grounds.
The 3,200-square-foot, single story building will house the Emergency Operations Center under new Coordinator Russell McDougall, a former deputy sheriff.
The structure plans, created by Brad Cutright of Cutright & Prihoda, include a training room for 32 participants, an emergency operations center and search bay.
The project’s building slab and the pre-engineered metal building frame were ordered before the current budget session started. Commissioners budgeted $220,000 for an EOC in the FY 2021-22 budget, which began Oct. 1
• Commissioners will again consider the interim maintenance supervisor’s post. In November, the county fired Greg Palmisano, the last maintenance supervisor, after it was discovered he had a pending Beaumont Police Department warrant for auto theft.
Palmisano had been hired in April to replace long-time county maintenance supervisor Paul Shannon who served 21 years.
• The reappointment of Dr. Jeffery Gubbels as the county health authority will be considered. In the last two years, Gubbels has worked with county officials on pandemic response.
• The reappointment of Richard Chomout and Patrick Hlavaty to Emergency Services District No. 1 will be considered as part of the consent agenda. ESD 1 oversees funding to fire services throughout Wharton County.
Also on the consent agenda is the reappointment of Steven Weinheimer, Robert Korenek and Melissa Green to the ESD 4 board which oversees El Campo EMS funding.